Feb. 9, 2004 – Caribbean Sun Airlines, which has been flying the V.I. skies from its San Juan hub for a short time, is planning expansion. On March 1, nonstop flights between Antigua and St. Thomas will begin.
An introductory fare of $199 plus taxes will bring Antigua passengers to St. Thomas and return the same evening. From St. Thomas, passengers will take the 6 p.m. flight and return on a 6:15 a.m. flight.
Although both Liat and American airlines fly to Antigua, those flights make additional en-route stops in both directions.
Caribbean Sun Airlines presently flies nonstop between San Juan and Antigua, and recently added flights between St. Thomas, St. Croix and San Juan. Due to demand, more round trips between St. Thomas-San Juan and St. Croix-San Juan will be added in March. This adds the possibility, a release said, of flying Antigua-St. Croix via San Juan for the same $199.
"Just one year in the skies, Caribbean Sun Airlines — U.S. code share partner — can boast of six beautiful destinations," Paul Moreira, chief operating officer, said: "Antigua, St. Kitts, Tortola, St. Thomas, St. Croix and San Juan." St. Vncent-San Juan direct flights will be available "very soon," he added.
The new Antigua-St. Thomas flights are welcome news to Caribbean residents in the territory going not only to Antigua but also to Montserrat, which can't be reached by plane since destruction of the airport by the Soufrière volcano eruptions. Although a new airport is being built in the north of the island, it's not operational yet and, after flying into Antigua, travelers must transfer to a ferry dock and travel over the water for an hour and a half to two hours. The direct flight will shorten that journey, and flight times connect well with the Montserrat ferry schedules.
The airline's planned Virgin Islands start-up the second week in December was stopped by a V.I. government decision that the name had to be changed due to similarity with another planned line. (See "Airline's plans for the V.I. grounded". But after several days of court-ordered mediation, a settlement was announced just 10 days after the original denial, ("Agreement lets two 'Sun' carriers operate in V.I."), and scheduled service began shortly thereafter.
Telephone numbers are 778-4786 for St. Croix, 779-4786 for St. Thomas.

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